Under Press-ure: Activist takes 19 per cent stake in regional press group

William Turvill
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Crystal Amber has previously been critical of the regional press group (Source: Getty)

Regional newspaper group Johnston Press could come under pressure after an activist investor took a 19 per cent stake in the company.

Crystal Amber today increased its stake from 6.7 per cent to 18.6 per cent.

Read more: Johnston Press reduces debt woes by flogging papers for £17m

Johnston Press was among many newspaper companies to struggle last year, and chief executive Ashley Highfield told City A.M. the company had been triple-hit by the Brexit vote.

The firm’s share price rose 13 per cent to 17p today, but this is down from more than 160p in January 2015 and 50p at the start of last year.

Johnston Press Johnston Press | mobile image

Read more: Struggling newspaper group Johnston Press set for activist investor meeting

Last September, when Crystal Amber increased its Johnston Press stake to 6.7p, the hedge fund’s chief executive, Richard Bernstein, told Reuters he hoped to help the management avoid a poor debt restructuring deal.

He said at the time: “Our experience is that good management teams welcome our involvement. We hope that management at Johnston Press will allow us to help.”

The 12.6m shares have been purchased after Orbis Investment Management sold the same number yesterday.

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